Type of Policy
Administrative
Policy No
13.9
Effective Date
Last Revised
Review Date
Policy Owner
Human Resources
Contact Name
Kevin Merkel
Contact Title
Senior Director-Payroll and Total Rewards
Contact Email
Kevin.Merkel@ohr.gatech.edu
Reason for Policy

This policy reinforces Georgia Tech’s Strategic Plan focus area: Leading by Example to develop a world-class workforce committed to enhancing employee skills and providing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.

Policy Statement

The Staff Tuition Reimbursement Assistance Program (STRAP) provides employees with an opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge needed for career development and advancement. This program supports the Institute's commitment to foster professional growth and development of its eligible employees.  Course work must be applicable to a career at Georgia Tech.

Employees are encouraged to use the University System of Georgia’s (USG) Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) whenever possible. However, if an employee is pursuing an accredited program not offered within the USG they may be reimbursed through STRAP for course work taken from accredited private educational institutions or Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) vocational / technical colleges that lead to a degree.  Employees attending USG institutions must use the USG TAP. 

STRAP funds are limited. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to the approval of GTHR.

Eligibility
Benefits-eligible, full-time (1.0 FTE) staff (exempt and non-exempt) who have a minimum of one full year of employment with Georgia Tech by the STRAP application deadline date may apply for the program. Eligibility ends upon termination of employment at Georgia Tech. STRAP participants must be employed at Georgia Tech through the completion of the course in order to receive reimbursement. Eligible employees must submit a new application for consideration and approval by the deadline for each academic term. The deadline dates can be found at: http://ohr.gatech.edu/staff-tuition-reimbursement-assistance-program.

Work Schedule Arrangements
To the extent possible, employees should not take courses that would require them to be absent from work during regularly scheduled work hours. If attendance in an approved STRAP course requires that an employee be absent from their assigned workstation during normal work hours, various accommodations may be possible, depending upon the needs of the unit/department and of the employee. Supervisors are encouraged to make a reasonable effort to find an appropriate work schedule accommodation; however, alternate work arrangements are within the sole discretion of the immediate supervisor. The supervisor must ensure that the employee’s participation in STRAP will not adversely affect departmental services, or, result in undue hardship for other employees. 

Acceptable Courses and Schools
STRAP provides partial reimbursement for classified Georgia Tech employees seeking a degree at any accredited private institution.

Employees not living in the State of Georgia
Institute employees who reside outside the State of Georgia who are pursuing accredited degree programs not offered within the USG as distance learning may be eligible for reimbursement if enrolled in a public accredited institution.  Employees hired by the Institute who are in the process of relocating to the State of Georgia while currently enrolled in a program at a public institution outside of Georgia, may be eligible to complete their program with STRAP reimbursement provided the employee and their accredited classes are not transferable within the University System of Georgia. 

Course Work (Applies to degree programs)
Course work must be taken for academic credit toward completion of a degree and must be related to a career field at Georgia Tech. Each employee must meet the admission requirements of the educational institution, acquire approval from their immediate supervisor and department head, submit application by the deadline date, and receive approval from GTHR for each course to be reimbursed. Non-credit continuing education courses, non-credit certificate programs, and Executive Programs are not eligible for reimbursement.

If there are any questions, please contact GTHR at (404) 894-4847 or eduassist@gatech.edu.

Reimbursement
For degree programs: Approved applicants may be reimbursed for their complete or partial tuition cost up to six (6) credit hours per semester. Upon completion of course work with a grade of C or better, the Institute will reimburse tuition costs up to a maximum of six (6) credit hours per semester. Please visit the STRAP website for the most up to date reimbursement amount.

The original tuition receipt showing a zero balance and an official transcript must be submitted via Workday for reimbursement. Expenses for fees, books, and other costs will not be reimbursed.

Scope

This policy applies to all staff within the Georgia Institute of Technology. Learn more about participation eligibility above.

Policy Terms

STRAP

Staff Tuition Reimbursement Assistance Program offered through the Georgia Institute of Technology.

TAP

Tuition Assistance Program offered through the University System of Georgia.

Workday

System used to process tuition reimbursement requests.

Procedures

Application
STRAP applications may be obtained at: https://hr.gatech.edu/education-assistance. A complete application must be submitted to GTHR (in-person, via mail at mail code 0435 or electronically) before the published deadline date. Employees will be notified via e-mail of the approval or denial of their application.

Reimbursement
Within thirty (30) days following the completion of course work, submit a Workday expense. Instructions can be found on the STRAP website.  If there are any questions, please contact GTHR at (404) 894-4847 or eduassist@gatech.edu.

Responsibilities

STRAP Coordinator
Processes STRAP applications.

Sr. Director, Total Rewards and Payroll
Owns and maintains policy.

Policy History
Revision Date Author Description
August 2022 Human Resources Updated to remove professional certifications in compliance with USG policy and procedures.
December 2021 Human Resources Updated Policy to include professional certifications.
November 2018 Human Resources Updated Policy
January 2004 Human Resources New Policy